Do you want to learn about some of the most popular Italian songs? You’re in the right place.
Listening to Italian music is a wonderful way to become familiar with the country’s history and culture while also picking up useful linguistic and grammatical information.
While visiting Italy and immersing yourself in the culture is the best way to improve your Italian language skills, not everyone has the time, money, or opportunity to do so. However, if you want to learn Italian, you can also rely on alternative strategies. Listening and singing along to Italian songs is one of these.
As a powerful medium, music may be a game-changer when it comes to learning a foreign language. Neuroscientists have shown that listening to music has beneficial effects on a wide range of cognitive abilities, including imagination, focus, linguistic ability, and more.
Recent studies have revealed that musical exposure facilitates and accelerates the acquisition of grammatical structures and vocabulary. According to this study, “listening to music may give us insights into how language sounds to us before we understand it.”
Aside from making learning a new language simpler, musical stimulation is also good for your memory and can boost your mood as well. (Source: Harvard Health Publishing)
Rhythm, pauses, tone, and melody are all shared characteristics between music and language. Singing also helps with speech and accent since it trains your vocal system to mimic sounds.
This article will serve as a guide for several of the most important canzoni (songs). These popular Italian songs are considered classics of Italian music, as they have touched the lives of countless listeners throughout many generations.
1. Funiculì, Funiculà (Funicular Up, Funicular Down) – 1880
The name of this tune is probably unknown to most listeners, but many people will remember it from well-known films and ad campaigns.
Written by Luigi Denza in 1880 with lyrics by Peppino Turco, “Funiculi, Funiculà” is a popular Neapolitan song composed as a token of appreciation for the inaugural ride of the Mount Vesuvius funicular railway.
Together, Turco and Denza debuted it at that year’s Piedigrotta festival. Ricordi published the sheet music, and it quickly sold over a million copies. It has been frequently reworked and recorded after its initial release.
“Funiculi, Funiculà” has been widely covered and adapted into several forms since its initial release. It has been featured in various media, including movies, TV shows, video games, anime, and commercials.
Perhaps the most well-known rendition is the one sung by Luciano Pavarotti, one of the greatest Italian tenors of all time.
2. O Sole Mio (My Own Sunshine) – 1898
Even though it was first released in 1898, this song is still frequently performed as a praise to the wonderful nation of Italy.
With the characteristic optimism of the Neapolitan people, the popular Enrico Caruso version sings about the beauty of the sun after a heavy storm. The song has been reinterpreted by numerous performers and translated into many languages.
Go to Naples and see the famed Mount Vesuvius honor this classic from the past. Read the lyrics and see why it’s one of the greatest Italian songs of all time.
3. Volare (Flying) – 1958
Although officially titled “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu” (“In the Blue-painted Blue [Sky]”), this 1958 hit by Domenico Modugno is known more commonly by its Italian translation, “Volare” (“Flying”). “Volare” is arguably the most well-known and frequently covered Italian song in history.
The first line of the song features the surreal image of a man going off in a flight of freedom, toward infinity, blending in with the color of the sky and the eyes of the woman he loves.
Domenico Modugno’s nearly “revolutionary” version of the song has propelled it to prominence, alongside the song’s enormous meaning. He sang it for the first time at the Sanremo Festival, and he shocked everyone by eschewing the conventionally static canons of the day and instead singing it while making casual hand motions, as if he were reciting the lyrics.
The legend of “Mister Volare,” as Modugno was known in the United States, began to grow from this point on, and he went on to serve as an inspiration to other vocalists throughout the 1950s and beyond.
4. Quando, Quando, Quando (When, When, When) – 1962
The year of its release, this song became a big international success. “Quando, Quando, Quando” is also now available in Vietnamese, German, Portuguese, Spanish, and English, among other languages.
Multiple movies, including The Blues Brothers, After Hours, and Superman Returns, have featured this song. It is also featured in The Simpsons episode titled “The Real Housewives of Fat Tony.”
The song is a bossa nova/samba hybrid, with music written by Tony Renis and lyrics by Alberto Testa, both of whom have contributed to the careers of such musicians as Diana Ross, Lionel Richie, Julio Iglesias, and Andrea Bocelli.
5. La Cura (The Cure) – 1968
Released in 1968, this track is without a doubt stunning. The Italian composer Franco Battiato’s “La Cura,” also known as “The Cure,” is a masterwork known for its soaring choruses and harmonies that sing of unconditional and universal love. He is a well-known Sicilian musician, director, and composer.
The kind of love that Battiato sings of here is unrivaled. The lyrical self addresses an unnamed “you” and pledges his allegiance, promising to shield the other from the “paure delle ipocondrie,” or “fears of hypochondria,” as well as life’s other hardships, inequities, pitfalls, and fixations. He’ll look out for them, arming them against both external threats and the more lethal threat of their internal fears.
6. Parole, Parole (Words, Words) – 1972
In 1973, the song was translated into French by the duo Alain Delon and Dalida and became a worldwide hit, even being performed by Céline Dion. The original interpretation was by Mina and Alberto Lupo.
As the female singer mourns the end of their relationship, the male singer constantly flatters her, even though he knows it isn’t true. She dismisses his flattery of her as parole – “empty words.”
Different editions have been written in a wide variety of languages, including English, German, Dutch, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Croatian, Hungarian, Slovenian, Turkish, Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese. However, this remains among the best Italian songs ever made.
7. Ti Amo (I Love You) – 1977
This 1977 classic by Umberto Tozzi earned him a win at the Festivalbar. One of the biggest international hits for Italian artists, “Ti Amo” topped the charts all over the world.
READ MORE: Ways To Say I LOVE YOU in Italian
This song, originally released in 1977, has become a timeless hymn – beloved by listeners of all ages. Umberto Tozzi gives a stunning performance of an Italian love ballad that does justice to the words.
“Ti Amo” may mean “I love you” in English, but the lyrical aspect of the words and music is undeniable, and it causes everyone’s heart to race.
Dalida of France did a cover, but Umberto Tozzi himself did a rendition in 2002 with the vocalist Lena Ka that used Molière’s language.
Today, “Ti Amo” (only the words, not the song itself) is occasionally used in romantic movies during scenes where a character declares his/her love for the other person.
8. L’Italiano (The Italian Man) – 1981
The songwriter, Toto Cutugno, tells the archetype of the “genuine” Italian, demonstrating its qualities and quirks, in this 1983 song that serves as an actual manifesto of the Bel Paese.
The song starts with these lines: “Let me sing with my guitar in my hand, let me sing, I am an Italian man.” Despite Italy’s numerous imperfections, the artist insists he is yet pleased to call himself an Italian.
The lyrics continue with more images of authentic Italy, such as spaghetti al dente, a partisan as president (a nod to Sandro Pertini, President of the Italian Republic from 1978 to 1985), a canary in a window box, ristretto coffee, fresh socks in the top drawer, and the Italian flag at the dry cleaners.
9. Felicità (Happiness) – 1982
This song was first performed on the stage of the San Remo music festival, by one of the most well-known duos in the history of Italian music – Al Bano and Romina Power.
“Felicità” was a commercial success, earning it a Golden Globe music award for its widespread popularity and high chart placement not only in Italy but across Europe as well.
The lyrics of this song touch on such topics as infinity, bliss, the summer season, international peace, love, dreams, and music.
10. La Solitudine (The Loneliness) – 1993
This song by Laura Pausini expresses the heartbreak and isolation a young woman experiences after her boyfriend, Marco, is forcibly separated from her by his family and moved to live in another country.
“La Solitudine” became a huge success in Italy, where it topped the country’s music charts. Success there led to its distribution across the rest of Europe, where it topped the charts in France, the Netherlands, and Belgium. The Spanish translation achieved great success on both the Spanish and American Billboard Latin song charts.
It has audio recordings in Greek, Dutch, Portuguese, English, and Filipino, as well as an English version.
11. Con Te Partirò (With You I Shall Leave) – 1995
Andrea Bocelli had the first public performance of this song at the Sanremo Music Festival. However, the song was not commercially successful in Italy and garnered very little broadcast on Italian radio. In some places, on the other hand, “Con Te Partirò” became a huge hit.
The record earned a triple gold sales award after topping the charts for a combined total of six weeks in France and Switzerland. It became the most successful song ever released in Belgium, spending a total of 12 weeks at the top of the charts there.
The song was re-recorded with Sarah Brightman singing it in a version that included some English lyrics. It went on to reach even greater success, topping the charts all across Europe.
12. Bella Ciao (from the Netflix series La Casa de Papel) – 2018
“Bella Ciao” (English: “Goodbye Beautiful”) had become a cultural touchstone in recent years, embraced by people of all ages and popularized by today’s biggest movie and TV stars.
The Spanish TV show La Casa de Papel (Money Heist in English), which included the song as its theme song, is largely responsible for its global popularity. However, a very different story lies behind this title’s inception.
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This Italian song’s origins can be traced back to the late 19th century, when mondina workers sang it in protest against the brutal working conditions in the rice paddy fields in Italy’s Po Valley.
During World War II, the song was sung to honor the efforts of partisans and resistance members. Since then, this song has been sung in every corner of the globe, cementing its status as a truly international anthem, which is now universally recognized.
Artists like Giovanna Daffini and Manu Chao have graciously provided their own takes on the song, and they’re all fantastic.
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- O, sole mio.
- Tu vuò fa' l'Americano.
- Tarantella Napoletana.
- I Sing Ammore.
- La Donna è Mobile.
- Caramelle (feat. ...
- Rockabye (feat. ...
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- Giacomo Agostini (TT-racer) Mario Andretti (auto-racer) ...
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|allegretto||moderately fast, slightly slower than allegro||112-120|
|allegrissimo||very fast, faster than allegro||172-176|
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|"Luna mezz'o mare"|
|English title||Moon amid the sea|
"La Donna è Mobile," Luciano Pavarotti
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- #1 Funiculì funiculà (Funicular up, funicular down) – 1880. ...
- #2 O sole mio (My own sunshine) – 1898. ...
- #3 Tu vuò fa' l'Americano (You Want to Be American) – 1956. ...
- #4 Volare, nel blu dipinto di blu (To fly, in the blue-painted blue [sky]) – 1958. ...
- #7 Gloria – 1979.
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Tarantella napoletana - THE MOST FAMOUS TRADITIONAL ITALIAN PIZZA SONG.
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|Characteristic||Share of respondents|
"Funiculì, Funiculà" (IPA: [funikuˈli funikuˈla], English: "Funicular Up, Funicular Down") is a Neapolitan song composed in 1880 by Luigi Denza to lyrics by Peppino Turco.What Italian song was used in Sopranos? ›
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Neapolitan pizza, or pizza Napoletana, is a type of pizza that originated in Naples, Italy. This style of pizza is prepared with simple and fresh ingredients: a basic dough, raw tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, and olive oil. No fancy toppings are allowed!